Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Podcast Review: Linux Basement

Chad Wollenberg is a real guy, doing a real job and making more of a difference than a lot of us combined. He lives in Virgina USA and is introducing Open Source Software in a very grass-roots way. The podcast he offers is more or less a digest of the OSS and Linux servers he plays with to propose practical working solutions in a public school system.

Chad is, I have to confess, one of my heroes. Not because he is a great coder or has created the next application to solve world hunger, but for his efforts to fight the "good fight" and pursuit what most of us linux users have known for years and that is that you can do more with less if you use OSS.

During the course of 45 min to an hour Chad talks about his most recent trials and tribulations in his efforts on the Linux Basement podcast. He tells tails of successes and frustrations in promoting OSS and deploying OSS in a fairly non-tech environment. Great stories of his use and application of OSS and linux to replace expensive closed sourced and propriotity formats in a community that doesn't have vast resources to waste on such foolishness. Lastly, for the entertainment value, Chad usually adds a self written and performed song at the end of his shows. The songs are very enjoyable and might be worth the wait through a topic that might not be of particular interest.

Chad tells his story in a very human way, even confessing when he had to redo something due to human error, passing on his mistakes which leads to his successes. I have a great deal of respect for Chad since he is humble and confesses his shortcomings when applicable. I recommend this podcast especially for the "young" linux user who is putting his toe in the water of starting to set up server solutions for home use, or to learn for work puposes. Chad is a real success story. Of particular note the recently appointed US Government CTO was the Virgina State CTO who gave Chad the green light for is Open Source initiatives in his school district. Which is very promising that the new US CTO is at least familiar with OSS.


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